WMC EPG Guide Ending? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 78 Old 12-28-2012, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I am in the UK and my WMC EPG is only showing TV guide data up to (ominously!) the 31st December. It has been tardy to update in the past but it has never got this bad. Anyone heard if Microsoft plan to terminate the EPG data presentation? I read somewhere that users in Ireland stopped getting their data on 12th December and it is not going to be reinstated. Time to install DVBlink and Digiguide perhaps?
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post #2 of 78 Old 12-28-2012, 02:36 PM
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I'm in the US and my guide (just ran an update) goes out to January 6th. If microsoft does decide to end the free guide I would like to think they'd warn you like they did with the Internet TV app.
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post #3 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 04:29 AM
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I'm in the UK and have also noticed this even though I'm updating the EPG with EPG collector off Freesat. What is also strange is that if you look at Movie Guide - there are movies you can schedule to record after the 31st Dec.
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post #4 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 07:38 AM
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It seems a bit crazy that they would allow users to buy the WMC pack for Windows 8 Pro and then summarily end the EPG.
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post #5 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 AM
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Silicon Dust shows that there will be a $9.99 charge for the program guide for Windows 8 at the end of January. I could find nothing about the EPG in 2013 for 7MC in a google search; so, I guess if a change is proposed Microsoft has not posted the change.
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post #6 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

Silicon Dust shows that there will be a $9.99 charge for the program guide for Windows 8 at the end of January. I could find nothing about the EPG in 2013 for 7MC in a google search; so, I guess if a change is proposed Microsoft has not posted the change.
Link?
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post #7 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 10:43 AM
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I also am in the UK, and have a Freesat and Freeview tuners on my HTPC working through WMC.
I also have just noticed the lack of program data in my WMC EPG for my Freesat channels after 31st December. However, the program data is present for the Freeview channels.
Looks like it might be a disconnect between the Freesat EPG provider and the WMC EPG provider?
Any idea what is going on?
Regards
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post #8 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 10:49 AM
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My guide shows data out to Wednesday, January 9, 2013 but I am in the U.S. and we have a different guide than those of you in the U.K, obviously.

I don't think it is time to panic just yet as it probably is just a glitch or something. I don't know where to report such a thing, though.

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post #9 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

Silicon Dust shows that there will be a $9.99 charge for the program guide for Windows 8 at the end of January. I could find nothing about the EPG in 2013 for 7MC in a google search; so, I guess if a change is proposed Microsoft has not posted the change.
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Originally Posted by t-c View Post

Link?

I think the reference is to this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiliconDust View Post

Windows Media Center is currently available for free to users of Windows 8 Pro. Submit a request for a free activation key on Microsoft’s website at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/feature-packs. After January 31, 2013, this will be a $9.99 upgrade from Microsoft. Users of the standard (non-Pro) edition of Windows 8 will need to upgrade to the Windows 8 Pro Pack, currently $69.99 from Microsoft.

Which is the cost to upgrade Win8 to have WMC and has nothing to do with the guide data.

Scroll down the page on this link.

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post #10 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 11:06 AM
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You are correct. That is the link. I did not read it closely and it does not refer to the EPG.
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post #11 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Seems this issue is being reported on both 'The Green Button' and 'Windows Experts Community' who are playing merry hell and frantically raising tickets with Microsoft but without a satisfactory reply. Guess we will find out on Tuesday!
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post #12 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heuer View Post

Seems this issue is being reported on both 'The Green Button' and 'Windows Experts Community' who are playing merry hell and frantically raising tickets with Microsoft but without a satisfactory reply. Guess we will find out on Tuesday!

Probably Wednesday but I'm good until Jan 9 as it is.

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post #13 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 12:49 PM
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I raised the official report here, and it's been confirmed as a problem by many UK users. MS don't seem to be paying much attention though, and we know have only 2 days guide left. Never been this bad before!
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post #14 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately to access that link you need to jump through various MS loops which seems to involve providing a lot of personal data. It would be helpful if someone who has access can post the Q&A's here. The Irish EPG went down on the 6th December. Now it could be that whoever is responsible for the UK EPG has been on holiday and everything will return to normal when he gets back to work on Monday. Hardly satisfactory though.
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post #15 of 78 Old 12-29-2012, 03:08 PM
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I remember when this last happened, one MS employee had to restart a service running on a server somewhere, and the guide started updating and working again!
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post #16 of 78 Old 12-30-2012, 08:58 AM
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I've managed to get round this problem using EPG collector. Took a bit of setting up but sorted now. Even got listings for KIX! which were missing from Microsoft.
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post #17 of 78 Old 12-30-2012, 03:58 PM
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Microsoft was using the Mayan calendar so they didn't think guide data would be needed in 2013.
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post #18 of 78 Old 12-31-2012, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like Canada is no longer getting an EPG according to TGB although the US has data until the 12th. No response whatsoever from Microsoft anywhere on the net so is this the end of WMC? If so it no longer makes sense to mess around with a relatively expensive HTPC when a dedicated PVR and a Dune/Popcorn Hour will do the job just as well. Does JRiver work as a PVR and if so where does it get its EPG data from?

I will try EPGCollector which will give me 7 days of data.
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post #19 of 78 Old 12-31-2012, 07:21 AM
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I'm in the U.S. and my EPG is good to Thursday, January 10, 2013. I think there is just a server that needs to be reset or something like previously mentioned.

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post #20 of 78 Old 12-31-2012, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heuer View Post

Looks like Canada is no longer getting an EPG according to TGB although the US has data until the 12th

Here in Montreal, Canada, my guide still goes out to January 11, 6:30 PM.
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post #21 of 78 Old 12-31-2012, 11:09 AM
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I'm also out to Jan 11. Small regional cable provider, Insight Cable.
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post #22 of 78 Old 01-01-2013, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Ahh, the joys of dealing with Microsoft:


I have now got EPG Collector working thanks to this guide on TGB:

"For those of you using FreeSat, here is what I did to get guide listings again.

1. Install EPG Collector from http://sourceforge.net/projects/epgcollector/
2. Run "EPG Center" and go to File->Change Collection Parameters... and select the file installed at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Geekzone\EPG Collector\Samples\Collector\UK - FreeSat.ini" (default location)
3. Ensure on the "Output" tab that "Import the data to Windows Media Centre directly" is selected with an import name of "EPG Collector". Also ensure that "Flag all programmes as part of a series is chosen"
4. On "Lookups" tab ensure that Movie Lookup and TV Series Lookup is enabled
5. On "Advanced" tab ensure that "Use FreeSat Huffman tables to translate compressed EIT text" is selected
6. Go to File->Save... to save these settings
7. Go to Run->Collect EPG Data... to gather the data but ensure Media Center is not running at the time. This may take 10 to 15 minutes.
8. Next we have to set each channel to use the EPG Collector listing information. Unfortunately I could not seem to do this in GuideTool. Therefore you need to go into Media Center and edit each channel and go to "Edit Listings".
9. You will then find an entry for each channel that EPG Collector has found suffixed by "-EPG Collector". Select the appropriate channel and save these settings.
10. Once you have done one channel you should see listings present and can then do the same for the other channels.
11. Having ensured that all the channel listings are working correctly then set up a scheduled task to run EPG Collector (instructions in the Readme.txt) at a time when you think Media Center will not be running. I picked 1.30am."
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post #23 of 78 Old 01-02-2013, 11:07 PM
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Just came back from vacation and I noticed that some of my OTA channels have missing EPG. This is not just small channels. Even my local ABC affiliates are missing EPG. The same applies to a completely different HTPC in a nearby city. This is just ridiculous, why does Microsoft needs user to report widespread issues like this. They should have realized missing EPG at least a week in advance! The same happened a few years back during the digital cut over.
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post #24 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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The Irish EPG data ceased as of 6th December, the UK as of 1st January and the consensus seems to be that the contracts for EPG supply are being allowed to lapse. There are reports of data failing in the USA and Canada as well but nothing on the same scale as the UK.

Seen it before with TiVo UK. I bought a TiVo in 2000 and paid an extra £199 for "lifetime" subscription to the EPG data. Of course their idea of a lifetime and mine appear to be different as they ceased the EPG supply in 2011, citing a new exclusive agreement with Virgin Media Cable as the reason rolleyes.gif Fortunately the TiVo community responded by creating their own EPG data source (Alt EPG) and the good old TiVo Series 1 still works like a dream.

Actually I am finding EPG Collector a better source of metadata than Microsoft provided, although it is only a 7 day guide. Never personally saw that as a problem because I use Remote Potato to schedule recordings from anywhere in the world using the RP App. Downside to EPG Collector was it took me a full day to set up and get working because of the lack of new user information (we need an Assassin guide!). The developer is very responsive however and the sudden rush of new users means installation is becoming well documented and much quicker. So well worth the effort to get EPG Collector working and it means no longer being tied to MS. There is an active and quite agitated thread on TGB tracking the complete lack of response over the downloaded EPG data loss and the alternatives.
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post #25 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 06:36 AM
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I sincerely hope this is just an oversight on MS's part (an inexcusable one though). To not resolve this problem which is affecting thousands of MC users nearly two weeks after it was originally reported is just.

My take on the situation smile.gif

MS Boss: We need to do more to kill off Media Center. What can we do next?
MS techie: Well, we've removed Internet TV, and are running down the plugins we originally supported. We made it an almost un-obtainable option in Windows 8 and crippled it at the same time. Only thing really left is the EPG.
MS Boss: We still provide this do we, and it's costing us money?
MS techie: yep
MS Boss: Ok, let's do it. Turn off the servers and don't renew contracts with the EPG providers. The I can watch it die..
MS techie: Won't that cause uproar in the MC community? Our name will be mud, and we'll be slagged off AGAIN!
MS Boss: Do I look like I care? We just won't say anything, leave it a few months - as usual - and everyone will just move on. We already know Windows 9 won't have MC at all, so I really don't give a monkey's
MS techie: But we're in the holiday season, and people rely on this?
MS Boss: JUST DO IT.
MS techie: (picks up phone). Hello? Is Jim there, you know the guy who manages the EPG servers? (Jim speaks). What? Turn off the EPG servers, seriously? (techie), yes, just do it, and make sure you do the UK first, I never liked them Brits anyway. Oh, and when it's done, go collect your pink slip.
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post #26 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 06:50 AM
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in Canada my OTA and FTA satellite guide is good until Jan 13th. I have noticed that one of my OTA ch's (Global 41.1) has been showing no information for the past week.

I use a program called guidetool for my FTA ch's... anybody in the UK ever try it out http://1geek1tool.com/guidetool
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post #27 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Shouldn't that be complete to the 16th (2nd Jan + 14 days)? Guidetool is great if you have a EPG source but it does not work for the OTA EPG, nor does it recognise EPG Collector unfortunately. The latter omission means you have to edit each channel within WMC to associate it with the EPG Collector data rather than do it quickly from within Guidetool.
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post #28 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

I sincerely hope this is just an oversight on MS's part (an inexcusable one though). To not resolve this problem which is affecting thousands of MC users nearly two weeks after it was originally reported is just.
My take on the situation smile.gif
MS Boss: We need to do more to kill off Media Center. What can we do next?
MS techie: Well, we've removed Internet TV, and are running down the plugins we originally supported. We made it an almost un-obtainable option in Windows 8 and crippled it at the same time. Only thing really left is the EPG.
MS Boss: We still provide this do we, and it's costing us money?
MS techie: yep
MS Boss: Ok, let's do it. Turn off the servers and don't renew contracts with the EPG providers. The I can watch it die..
MS techie: Won't that cause uproar in the MC community? Our name will be mud, and we'll be slagged off AGAIN!
MS Boss: Do I look like I care? We just won't say anything, leave it a few months - as usual - and everyone will just move on. We already know Windows 9 won't have MC at all, so I really don't give a monkey's
MS techie: But we're in the holiday season, and people rely on this?
MS Boss: JUST DO IT.
MS techie: (picks up phone). Hello? Is Jim there, you know the guy who manages the EPG servers? (Jim speaks). What? Turn off the EPG servers, seriously? (techie), yes, just do it, and make sure you do the UK first, I never liked them Brits anyway. Oh, and when it's done, go collect your pink slip.

Probably very true! We must remember MS have no binding contract to provide an EPG in WMC, not that it would make any difference. Someone tried to sue TiVo for ratting out on their "lifetime" agreement with 30,000 users (at £199 each) but it came to nothing, obviously. At least TiVo were kind enough to send a message to all boxes to tell users a month in advance they were switching the EPG off.
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post #29 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 07:36 AM
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After the guide goes away, is there anything else Microsoft can do to cripple WMC? Can they turn off our tuners or play ready?
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post #30 of 78 Old 01-03-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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They don't need to do anything else, as people will quickly move away from WMC. I think I am fairly tech savvy but even I came very close to hooking up my Humax Freesat PVR again and dumping the whole idea of HTPC PVR. A Popcornhour can play any video you throw at it, simply and without fuss. The video quality and scaling are as good as WMC or even MPC-HC so it does beg the question if there is a place for WMC!
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